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Bo Pelini shows true colors in burning bridges at Nebraska

If ever one has wondered how to handle getting fired by you boss, ex-Nebraska Cornhuskers head coach Bo Pelini has given a proper case study in what not to do.

Not only did he publicly slam his old bosses at Nebraska in a press conference to announce his hire at Youngstown State, but Pelini also managed to go scorched earth to his “employees” about his bosses.

On Wednesday, the Omaha World-Herald released a story that gave us insight in to the meeting Pelini had with his players after getting fired at the end of the season.

Let’s jus say Pelini doesn’t really care for his now-ex bosses at Nebraska very much.

“A guy like (Eichorst) who has no integrity, he doesn’t even understand what a core value is,” Pelini told players, via the OWH article. “And he hasn’t understood it from the day he got here. I saw it when I first met with the guy.”

In the story, Pelini laid out Huskers athletic director Shawn Eichorst in an expletive-laced speech. Pelini didn’t stop there though, as he also let the entire Nebraska administration have it.

“I didn’t really have any relationship with the A.D.,” Pelini said. “The guy, you guys saw him (Sunday), the guy is a total p—-. I mean, he is, and he’s a total c—.”

Talk about a scorned ex-employee huh? Nice mouth there too. Believe me, I’m far from a prude when it comes to language, but come on man, is too much to ask you to be professional?

It didn’t get much better, and it wasn’t just the AD or the administration of the university that were in Capture2Pelini’s cross hairs. Yes, you can guess what came next — it’s you Husker fan, you’re the one responsible for all the losses, especially that ass-kicking the Wisconsin Badgers gave your team this season.

“It is a b—- here. It is hard enough when you have the negativity that comes from the media and the negativity from a lot of former players, this talk show and that talk show, you win and it ain’t good enough. It’s not good enough how you won. There is a lot of things that go on there and if you don’t have a grown man staying in front of the thing and getting everybody, rallying, I can do all I want, but they’re b—-ing at me, too….

“It was never more evident than the Wisconsin game. I thought you guys were more mentally beat in that game than we got physically beat. It’s a culmination of the negativity. I understand, you guys are human. That is why I was constantly talking to you guys about it.”

Oh, those dreaded expectations and wanting to win football games. Shouldn’t that be what a head football coach is hired to do — win big football games when the time comes to do so?

Also, isn’t it your job as the head coach to make sure your players are mentally prepared to come out and play? How many times did we hear from Pelini that his team wasn’t paying attention to anything outside of the game ahead and were focused on each other?

Sure sounds like you failed to live up to those words.

You know what would’ve helped limit the negativity? Winning just one or two of the four championship games your Huskers played in or if the program didn’t manage to go below .500 against ranked opponents while you were the head coach.

While he was busy throwing Eichorst under the bus he also revealed he thought about resigning and moving on because the relationship was so untenable.

Pelini talked about how he’d “rather work at f—— McDonald’s than work with some of those guys. Not that there is anything bad about working at McDonald’s.”

Ohhhh, burn….yet it leaves one with a major question. Why are you, Mr. Pelini, so pissed off that you got fired then? Clearly you weren’t happy being in Lincoln, Neb. anyway, why not just move on?

Couldn’t you have gone out with some class and dignity? I mean, imagine any of us regular joe’s and jane’s calling in our fellow employees or subordinates off site and laying every piece of dirty laundry bare in your relationship with the boss that just fired you.

Venting to family or friends is one thing, but by speaking like he did to his players Pelini created a further wedge between the athletic department and the players. Something that was totally unnecessary.

Let’s also remember that this was Pelini’s first head coaching job, and burning bridges like that aren’t going to make it very easy on him moving forward.

Yes, Pelini got the job at Youngstown State, but that had a lot more to do with his history at YSU and with president Jim Tressell than anything else. He also dropped a gem of an attack at Nebraska’s administration during his introductory press conference:

What future athletic director at a major university is going to want to work with a guy who will turn around and burn the bridge on the way out?

Then again, this shouldn’t be a shocking thing from Pelini, as he’s been recorded going off on the Huskers fan base before and he hasn’t been too happy with Eichorst from the start.

In case you are counting, it was the athletic director, the University of Nebraska’s chancellor and the fans fault for Pelini getting fired.

Anyone missing from that list? How about taking some (if not all) of the blame for yourself there Bo.

That would actually require some humility from a head coach with perhaps the biggest ego and least impressive record to back it up.

No doubt there is some truth in what Pelini was telling his players, but it’s just his side of the relationship and believing everything to come out of his mouth is a bit of a stretch. After all, we are talking about an ex-employee with an axe to grind.

When it’s all said and done, it’s hard to square a guy calling someone else for a lack of integrity with the guy who took all shots possible when given the chance to move on.

Pelini’s way of leaving Nebraska is a classic case of what not to do when getting fired, and at least everyone else can learn from this fiasco.

Andy Coppens is the Founder and Publisher of Talking10. He's a member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and has been covering college sports in some capacity since 2008. You can follow him on Twitter @AndyOnFootball

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